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Cape York: Germain tourists lost due to Google map error

German tourists Philipp Maier and Marcel Schoene followed Google Maps destinating to Bamaga but find themselves to the Old Archers Crossing after Google Maps errors.

The tourists left Cairns on February 4 and headed off to travel through Cape York in a four-wheel-drive vehicle.

Google Maps told them to enter Oyala Thumotang National Park through a dirt track known as Landi Track, which leads to the old Archers Crossing. They become stack after they drove through the national park for 50 to 60 km.

Mr Maier said he and his fellow traveller had been following Google’s directions. 

“In Coen, Google Maps said we should go to the national park right away, and we thought just do it because maybe the main road is closed because of a high river,” he said.

Mr Maier said that their car became stuck in a hole and it was almost impossible to get out of there.

The tourists decided to leave their car and walk to Archer River because it was closer, they thought they may cross it but the water was too high to cross.

Mr Schoene said they walked for about 22 hours, through rain, sleeping on the road at night and using a drone to look for nearby roads. They said they had several wildlife encounters including a crocodile and a snake, a lot of spiders, as well as several cows and wild pigs. According to ABC News.

The pair spoke with rangers after their ordeal and were unharmed but did have lessons they would take with them.

“Never trust Google Maps on your own,” Mr Schoene said.

“It was a good experience but it was a really hard experience. I don’t want to live this week another time,” Mr Maier.

Ranger in charge Roger James said QPWS and a local mechanic helped recover the vehicle, but the situation could have been a lot worse.

He said that if the men had not been as young, fit, prepared and motivated, it could have ended tragically.


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